|The Hermitage Museum||
First-time visitors to Saint Petersburg... you must see it.
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For more Hermitage information, visit their official website: www.hermitage.ru
For opera/ballet lovers, here is the Mariinsky Theater website: http://www.mariinsky.ru/en
Hermitage Museum must be Saint Petersburg's most popular tourist
destination. I was shocked by the quantity of tourists visiting this museum
during my visit to the city in July 2002. Compared to my last summer visit
to Saint Petersburg - in June/July 2000, there were far more tourists this
time. And many more tourist buses.
The Hermitage is open from 10:30am until 6:00pm with the last tickets sold at 5:00pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
It may not look that big, but this museum is huge! The extravagance of the interior is often jaw dropping. What an incredible building...
To come to Saint Petersburg and not see the Hermitage would be a regretful mistake. It must be seen. Even if you are not into art, you still must go simply to see the incredible rooms.
The Hermitage is Russia's largest museum with 3,000,000 pieces. It is located in the heart of the city along the scenic Neva River. Outside is Palace Square with the unusual Alexander Column - the world's largest free-standing monument of its kind. In the early 1800s it took 2000 men to erect it. I have no idea how they were able to do it, as it is a massive piece of stone.
Surrounding Palace Square is the General Staff Building. A passage in the middle of it leads to Nevsky Prospect - the city's main downtown street. To the west is the massive Saint Isaac's Cathedral. To the east you will find a canal street to walk along.
Across the river are the Rostral Columns, which, besides functioning as lighthouses, were built to intimidate the Swedes. And a short distance from there is the very interesting SS Peter & Paul Fortress, plus a zoo, a nice park area, and amusement rides.
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